Shorwell Women's Institute
70th Anniversary logo

Introduction by Debbie Lumley - President of Shorwell WI

Picture of Debbie Lumley "A very warm welcome to the website of Shorwell Womens Institute, whether you are a WI member or not, a new resident to our lovely village, or just passing through, virtually or physically. Shorwell is a small village of around 700 people, based in the South West area of the Isle of Wight.

My name is Debbie and I am in the third year as the President of Shorwell WI, supported by a very capable and willing committee.

I live in Shorwell with my husband David and have been part of Shorwell WI since moving here in 2014; I moved from Hampshire where I had been in the WI since 2007. Moving to the Island and immediately joining my local WI really helped me to make friends and get to know people in the village, proving that the WI friendship really does extend throughout the counties.

Shorwell WI was formed in 1948, do have a look at our website archives to view our formation paperwork. All monthly meetings (11 per year) have been held in the Parish Hall along with a number of celebration events and fundraising events. Committee meetings and all of the various craft, garden parties, walking groups, lunches, dinners and supper clubs have been held in other venues. The Produce and Preserve Tent has regularly featured at the annual Midsummer Fair and numerous trips have been taken over the years.

At the end of 2019 we had a membership of 30, with members coming from Shorwell, Brighstone, Chale, Newport and Merstone. Our ladies come from all walks of life and have different views and interests. Our longest standing member joined in April 1967. We currently have 3 members whose WI membership exceeds 50 years each.

We meet monthly on the second Monday, at Shorwell Parish Hall in Russell Road. We are an evening meeting beginning at 7.30pm and usually finishing around 9.30pm. Each month we have a speaker, some time for WI ‘business’ and social time. There is a small raffle, best bloom competition and regular competitions related to the theme of our speaker. In addition we have an annual summer outing (which always involves a tea) and a summer garden party held in a member’s garden. We organise our birthday dinner in October and our ‘post-Christmas’ lunch in January.

We are part of the Longstone Group of WI’s along with Brighstone, Chale, Niton & Rew Valley and of course the Isle of Wight Federation. This provides us with the opportunity to take part in many other meetings and events.

If you are thinking of joining Shorwell WI or are just curious about what we do, please feel free to come along to one or two of our meetings and spend the evening with us. We don’t ask you join immediately or be a jam maker or cake baker, just be yourself and remember that we were all ‘the new girl’ once.

As we move through our 72nd year and the world around us changes in so many ways, it is important to ensure that we continue to build on the strong foundations which our founder members created. When you come to a Shorwell WI meeting, we hope you discover a sense of belonging, find the opportunity to make new friends and discover shared interests, but most importantly give yourself some ‘me time’.

You are welcome to come and visit 3 times before we ask you to pay anything. There is no visitor fee, just a smile and a warm welcome. You can find details of this year’s programme on this website.

Why not come and give us a try? We would love to see you."